Not to be outdone by the upcoming Rent and A Christmas Story live television musicals at Fox, ABC announced Tuesday it would bring Disney’s animated classic The Little Mermaid to life this fall. A mid-season addition to the network’s new fall lineup, The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! will also revive the long-dormant anthology series — which gifted viewers with the 2000 Geppetto TV movie starring Drew Carey in the title role — when it airs Tuesday, October 3rd. This should be fun.
According to a press release, the two-hour special event will differ from previous live television musicals. Why? Because it will “intertwine” footage from the original 1989 animated film “with show stopping live musical performances via cutting-edge technology.” The resulting “hybrid” will therefore resemble movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and include a “soon-to-be announced roster” of viewers’ “favorite celebrity artists, whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film.”
Along with the aforementioned musicals coming from FOX, as well as trendsetter NBC’s upcoming Jesus Christ Superstar adaptation, The Little Mermaid suggests this live musical explosion won’t be going away anytime soon. At least the promise of reviving The Wonderful World of Disney and attempting a hybrid of animation and live action offers everyone watching all of these events something new. (That, and it saves ABC from trying to figure out how to make human performers decked out in scuba gear look believable.)